Suryakumar Yadav will play the first Test with KS Bharat at No.6: Sanjay Manjrekar
Manjrekar believes that Suryakumar Yadav's ability to strike in red-ball cricket will fill in the void that Rishabh Pant has left.
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Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that World No. 1 T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav has a high chance of making his Test debut in the Nagpur Test against Australia which set to begin on February 9. Manjrekar believes that along with Suryakumar, KS Bharat will also be making his debut in whites as a wicketkeeper for the hosts.
Manjrekar also said that Suryakumar is not just a six-hitter and can play with a healthy strike rate without randomly hitting the ball in the air. He also mentioned that Suryakumar plays the sweep shot well, which can help the team add pressure on the opposition spinners.
"I think Surya will play the first Test with Bharat at No.6. Surya has played 79 first-class games, this is a unique career that we are witnessing. He has been around for a long time,” said Manjrekar while talking to Star Sports.
"He will play because there are not many other options in the squad. Even in 50-over cricket, if he decides not to hit the ball in the air for a while, he will still score at a strike rate of 120. He is not just a six-hitter. He has a great sweep shot, which is just a great shot to have to put the opposition spinner under pressure,” the former cricketer further added.
Manjrekar also added that Suryakumar could be the batter who could go after the spinners just how Rishabh Pant used to do. The first-choice wicketkeeper for India in whites- Pant- is currently recovering from injuries that he sustained in the car accident in December 2022, which was also the reason behind him missing out.
“Maybe one guy can come down the order and attack the spinners as Rishabh Pant has done for India. But, on a team basis, to come in with that ultra-aggressive tactic will be hazardous, because you are playing really outside your natural approach,” Manjrekar added.
Kohli has been a wonderful player of spin: Manjrekar
Manjrekar also talked about Virat Kohli's form in whites and said that if he scores runs in the upcoming series, then it can be said that he is back to his supreme best as he said:
"Kohli has been a wonderful player of spin, but of late, a simple observation that I have made is judgement of length, especially against spinners. If he gets runs in this Test series, then you can definitely say that Kohli is back to his supreme best.”
The Border-Gavaskar trophy will kickstart at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. The teams will then travel to Delhi, Dharamshala, and Ahmedabad for the next three Tests. This series will be important for both sides in order to book a spot in the World Test Championship Final, that is said to be scheduled in June 2023.
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